Flooding Forces 10,000 to Flee
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ Fierce downpours flooded an estimated 10 million acres of land in Buenos Aires province Thursday and forced more than 10,000 people from homes in low- lying areas, authorities said.
Weather officials said 31/2 inches of rain fell between midnight and noon, overloading rivers and streams already brimming from several days of downpours.
Two deaths were attributed to the inundation. Authorities said a man drowned in a flooded underpass, and a woman suffered a heart attack when water entered her house. Both died in suburbs north of the capital.
Flood waters blocked roads, damaged crops and caused sporadic power outages across the province. The hardest hit areas were the heavily populated suburbs of Buenos Aires and of the provincial capital of La Plata, 30 miles to the south.
The provincial Civil Defense headquarters said 10,145 people had been evacuated to shelters in schools, churches and other public places. It issued an urgent call for food, clothing and mattresses.
Carlos Maria Valerga, the province’s agriculture minister, estimated 10.8 million acres of land in the province was flooded, and reckoned damage to property and crops at $1 billion.